Medway welcomes the Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch will arrive in Medway next Friday, 20 July, as church bells ring, Fort Amherst’s canons are fired and a flotilla of yachts pass under Rochester Bridge.

Torchbearers will start the journey at Gillingham shortly before 8am on Friday, 20 July, before passing through Chatham, Rochester and Strood.

While passing through Medway the torch will be carried by more than 20 torchbearers, along a route that will take in Medway Park, Brompton Barracks and Boley Hill, past the iconic setting of Rochester Castle and Cathedral.

Thousands of flag waving children will also line the route, there will be street entertainment and circus acts and the relay will also run down Boley Hill – past the iconic setting of Rochester’s Castle and Cathedral. Thousands of flag waving children will also line the route, and there will be street entertainment and circus acts.

The event will allow tens of thousands of local residents the chance to catch a glimpse of the torch and the runners on the last day of its epic journey through Kent and just one week ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony starting.

The Medway leg of the Torch Relay starts in Canterbury Street, Gillingham, at approximately 7.50am – after coming in by convoy from Maidstone that morning.

And it will leave Medway along the Gravesend Road in Strood at around just after 9.30. It will then be taken by convoy through Higham and on to Gravesend.

Those who have been given the honour of carrying the torch in Medway are among just 8,000 nationally since the torch began its journey in Land’s End.

Among those bearing the torch will be Carl Fitter, from Cliffe, Deb Puxty from Gillingham, and 12-year-old Nathan Mitchell, from Gillingham.

Cllr Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council, said: “The Torch Relay will take in five and a half miles of Medway’s streets and this will be an amazing spectacle for all to see.

“I urge people, wherever you are, if you can do try and take this once in a lifetime chance to see the Olympic Torch pass through Medway.”

People hoping to see the Torch Relay should allow plenty of time to get there as there will be rolling road closures as the runners pass through.

The Chatham Waterfront Bus Station will also be closed from 7.45am for around an hour and buses will start journeys and terminate on the edge of the town centre.

Those travelling on Medway’s streets or using public transport should plan ahead for their journey. For more information go to

Chatham Community Hub will open early at 8am, with all usual services and facilities available.

The Visitor Information Centre in Rochester and café will open from 7am to welcome any visitors or residents who are coming to Rochester to see the Torch pass by.

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